40,000 applications for ALAF project always ongoing regardless if there is an election or not, says Julaihi

Julaihi speaking to reporters during a press conference following the closing ceremony of the ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement On ALAF Project Implementation’, which was held at BCCK here today (July 27, 2022).

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, July 27: The Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi stresses that the 40,000 applications for the Additional Late Applicant Fund (ALAF) project are always ongoing and are not being done solely for election purposes, as some may say.

He made the remarks today during a press conference following the closing ceremony of the ‘Stakeholders’ Engagement On ALAF Project Implementation’, which was held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

The ALAF project was introduced in 2018 and is still being implemented as part of ‘Sarawak’s Projek Rakyat’ initiative to alleviate the financial burden on new rural homeowners who require a power connection.

Julaihi went on to say that the project has always been implemented by his ministry and the Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) regardless of time to ensure that all Sarawak residents have access to electricity as soon as possible.

“We don’t want people to say that we’re only implementing the ALAF project because of the election. Regardless of whether there is an election or not, we will always continue to implement the project,” he asserted.

Furthermore, he revealed that the ministry and Sarawak Energy have completed over 8,000 project applications so far and are working to complete the remaining 32,000 applications as soon as possible.

He stated that the increasing number of applicants, the remote location of the houses, and the residents’ refusal to allow the project to pass through their land are obstacles to the implementation of the ALAF project.

Julaihi also mentioned that the current number of 20 contractors and 20 consultants employed by Sarawak Energy is insufficient to implement the entire ALAF project.

“This project was originally approved in 2018 with a budget of RM80 million. A further RM150 million is added, bringing the total to RM230 million,” he disclosed, adding that the funding came from the Sarawak government’s budget.

Moreover, he pointed out that 98.6 per cent of the State’s households have received electricity so far. — DayakDaily